07 January 2014 Award-winning architects engaged to help restore Freo cottages

Defence Housing Australia (DHA) has engaged award-winning heritage local firm Griffiths Architects to provide expert advice on the restoration of the heritage-listed Fremantle Married Quarters.

The cottages, which are located on Queen Victoria Street in Fremantle, have been unoccupied for more than a decade and require substantial repair, conservation and adaption to make them suitable for Defence families.

“We acquired the cottages in late 2013 and have deep respect for the historical significance of the site,” DHA Managing Director Peter Howman said.

“In order to ensure that the cottages are restored to their former glory we have engaged a renowned local architectural firm that specialises in exploring adaptive opportunities for heritage places.”

The Barracks is one of only a few complete groups of historical building in Western Australia. There are 10 dwellings within the Barracks which were built during the second stage of construction and were completed in 1913. They were home to the soldiers who manned the guns at Fremantle.

“The heritage status of the cottages is in part due to the visual aesthetics, including the streetscape of Queen Victoria Street and the progressive streetscape from the approach via Burt Street,” Mr Howman said.

“They were constructed using brick, local Cottesloe stone and tiled roofs, and each of these elements must be taken into account in the restoration process.”

Brandon Pratley from Griffiths Architects said “We are keen to see the cottages reinstated as an important active element of the City’s fabric, with sensitive additional development that will ensure the ongoing activation of the site.  We welcome the opportunity to breathe life into an area that has lain fallow for too long.  The City will be a better place for the successful redevelopment of these significant buildings.”

DHA has discussed the redevelopment proposals with Fremantle Council and the State Heritage Office, and expects to lodge a development application (DA) in February this year.

“We’re hoping to start work on the cottages in September and they should be ready for residents to start moving in the following year. We believe the cottages will be very popular with Defence members, but the wider community will also benefit given this work will preserve a vital part of the Fremantle heritage landscape.”

DHA currently manage and maintain 63 properties with heritage status on behalf of the Department of Defence in locations such as:

  • the Royal Military College - Duntroon
  • HMAS Creswell - Jervis Bay
  • HMAS Watson - Sydney Harbour
  • HMAS Cerberus - Mornington Peninsula
  • Anglesea Barracks - Hobart, and
  • Victoria Barracks - Paddington.

Commonwealth or National Heritage status is given to places of significant cultural, political or natural importance in the course of Australia's history. Each of the aforementioned locations contributes significantly to Australia’s military history. Collectively they play an important role in the tradition of Australia’s three Defence Force Services.

For more information contact:

Kate McKay, National Manager Communications 0421 040 098 kate.mckay@dha.gov.au